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View Diary: Chicago Tribune endorses Obama (242 comments)

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  •  and a few whigs, free soilers and know nothings.. (0+ / 0-)

    Since 1847 - the paper has endorsed ONLY Republicans.  This is huge, and I'm very proud of them for doing so.  

    Well.. perhaps some of their early endorsements weren't quite so admirable...

    From wikipedia...

    The Tribune was founded by James Kelly, John E. Wheeler and Joseph K.C. Forrest, publishing its first edition on June 10, 1847. The paper saw numerous changes in ownership and editorship over the next eight years. Initially, the Tribune was not politically affiliated but tended to support either the Whig or Free Soil parties against the Democrats in elections.[5] By late 1853 it was frequently running xenophobic editorials that criticized foreigners and Roman Catholics.[6] About this time it also became a strong proponent of temperance.[7] However nativist its editorials may have been, it was not until February 10, 1855 that the Tribune formally affiliated itself with the nativist American or Know Nothing party, whose candidate Levi Boone was elected Chicago mayor the following month.[8]

    By about 1854, part-owner Capt. J. D. Webster, later General Webster and chief of staff at the Battle of Shiloh, and Dr. C. H. Ray of Galena, Illinois through Horace Greeley convinced Joseph Medill of Cleveland's Leader to become managing editor. Ray became editor-in-chief, Medill became the managing editor, and Alfred Cowles, Sr., brother of Edwin Cowles, initially was the bookkeeper. Each purchased one third of the Tribune.[9][10] Under their leadership the Tribune distanced itself from the Know Nothings and became the main Chicago organ of the Republican Party.[11] However, the paper continued to print anti-Catholic and anti-Irish editorials.[12] The Tribune absorbed three other Chicago publications under the new editors: the Free West in 1855, the Democratic Press in 1858, and the Chicago Democrat in 1861, whose editor, John Wentworth, left his position to become Chicago Mayor. Between 1858 and 1860, the paper was known as the Chicago Press & Tribune. After November 1860 it became the Chicago Daily Tribune.[13] Before and during the American Civil War, the new editors pushed an abolitionist agenda and strongly supported Abraham Lincoln, whom Medill helped secure the Presidency in 1860. The paper remained a force in Republican politics for years afterwards.
    In 1861 the Tribune published new lyrics for the song "John Brown's Body" by William W. Patton, rivaling the ones published two months later by Julia Ward Howe. Medill served as mayor of Chicago for one term after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

    The lead editorial in the first issue the Chicago Tribune published after the Great Chicago Fire.
    Under the 20th century editorship of Colonel Robert R. McCormick the paper was strongly isolationist and actively biased in its coverage of political news and social trends, calling itself "The American Paper for Americans," excoriating the Democrats and the New Deal, resolutely disdainful of the British and French, and greatly enthusiastic for Chiang Kai-shek and Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

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